CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES STATE FORESTRY GRANTS
MONEY EARMARKED FOR FOREST FIRE PROTECTION, INFESTATION ISSUES AND COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP
(13/P88) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection is announcing the award of $570,000 in a series of grants to 26 municipalities across the state, several residential associations, and one state university through the DEP’s State Forestry Services Grant Program, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The awards – 33 in all – are being issued through several programs designed to promote community stewardship of forests and trees, improve protections from wildfires and restore forests affected by the tree-killing southern pine beetle.
“To maintain and improve our forests, it really does take a concentrated effort on the local level and these grants give communities a financial boost to help make that happen,” said Lynn Fleming, director of the State Forestry Service. “Thanks to these planned forest improvements, residents will see healthier and more sustainable forest in their communities.”
Most of this funding comes from the state Community Stewardship Incentive Program (CSIP), which assists municipalities in implementing management goals and practices as outlined in their Community Forestry Management Plans. A maximum of $20,000 is awarded to each recipient, with each community providing a 50 percent matching contribution.
Project proposals are evaluated based on responsiveness to community needs and the grant program’s goals. The 2013 CSIP grants are funded from the “Treasure Our Trees” state license plate fund and the Green Acres program.
Municipalities awarded these grants of $15,000 to $20,000 this year include: Bergenfield, Berkeley Heights, Byram, Camden, Edgewater, Englishtown, Florence, Garfield, Haddon Heights, Haddonfield, Hoboken, Irvington, Merchantville, Mount Holly, Paramus, Pequannock, Red Bank, River Edge, Riverton, Roseland, Southampton, Spring Lake, Stratford, Washington (Burlington County), West Orange and Woodbine.
Two Community Wildfire Protection Plan grants of $5,000 were awarded to Manchester and Hardwick. These grants provide towns a cost-share incentive to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan and assist with the implementation of wildfire hazard mitigation practices, such as prescribed burning and the thinning of overstocked forests. Awarded communities make a 100 percent matching contribution to their grant.
“Community Wildfire Protection Plans are an effective way for at-risk communities to prepare for and mitigate wildfires,” Fleming added. “Communities with approved plans may also be given preference for future hazard fuel reduction grants.”
Rutgers University is the recipient of a $50,000 Community Firewise Grant, while residential organizations, including Horizons at Barnegat Homeowners Association in Barnegat, Victoria Crossing Community Association in Egg Harbor, and Free Acres Association in Berkeley Heights each received $5,000.
Community Firewise Grants, which also are matched dollar-for-dollar by the award recipients, provide smaller sub-communities, home owner associations and other qualifying organizations a cost-share incentive to develop and implement a Firewise Community, as designated by the National Fire Protection Association. The program enables grantees to implement hazard mitigation activities and train community Firewise liaisons.
A $10,000 Wildfire Community Assistance Grant also was awarded to the Horizons at Woods Landing Homeowners Association in Mays Landing for the purposes of pine beetle suppression. Wildfire Community Assistance Grants provide municipalities, communities and other qualifying organizations a cost-share incentive to suppress southern pine beetles or to reduce hazardous fuels accumulations.
For more information, please visit us www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/forest and like State Forestry Service’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/newjerseyforests
For more information on Community Stewardship Incentive Program grants, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/grantandloanprograms/nhr_csip.htm
For more information on Community Wildfire Protection Plan grants, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/grantandloanprograms/nhr_wildfire.html
For more information on Wildfire Community Assistance grants, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/grantandloanprograms/nhr_wild_pine.html